The August Bank Holiday Weekend was a busy one for the GliderFX team. Paul Moslin and Paul Holdnall positioned the Pawnee and MDM-1 Fox to the 7th Wings and Wheels event at Dunsfold Park on Sunday morning for Paul Moslin to open the show with a banner: WELCOME TO WINGS & WHEELS 2011.
Dunsfold Wings and Wheels is quite unique as there is more than a passing nod to the ‘wheels’ section, the airfield being closed for 2 segments throughout the day for the petrol heads to rip up and down the main runway at Dunsfold on bikes, race cars, supercars and much of the fabulous vintage collection from the Brooklands Museum.
The flying section has built quite a reputation too, with TSA selecting the best of the regular airshow participants plus a selection of the slightly unusual. Whilst there were some disappointing cancellations of the Vulcan and Red Arrows, the stars of the show more than compensated. The pick of the day were Brendan O’Brian’s Flying Circus, Golden Apple’s Sabre 86a, Peter Teichman’s Hurricane, Team Viper and the Sbach300s of Gerald Cooper and the Matadors.
Dunsfold has had a busy life since the end of the WW2, with Hawker Aviation then British Aerospace testing Hunter, Harrier and Hawk, so it was quite fitting that the best display of the weekend was Jonathon Whaley and Chris Gotke formation in the Hawker Hunter and Hawker Sea Fury.
We have flown a glider display at Dunsfold since 2007 and despite the increasing wind and building clouds on Sunday, it was gratifying to fly our full ‘roll-on-tow’ profile after the previously limited routines with a towrope failure in 2009 and the Pilatus B4 in 2010.
Heavy showers peppered the route north towards Little Gransden for the 19th year of the Children in Need show. Dave Poile organises a great display, packed with many acts that you don’t regularly see at the bigger shows – the most unusual this year was a Canadian CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft. The Canadian pilot joined our rookie Paul Holdnall in having difficulty in finding the small venue, made more tricky by the distraction of the larger Gransden Lodge airfield only a few miles away.
The Little Gransden show has not had much luck in the weather department over the past few years, and this year was no exception, with strong winds and heavy showers. Stars of the show were inimitable airfield owner Mark Jeffries in his Extra 330SC and the Pitts Pair who both coped with the strong wind well, making it look all rather easy.
Paul Moslin towed Guy Westgate in the MDM-1 Fox and made the most of the angled display line to minimise the strong on-crowd wind.
Bank Holiday Monday saw the team back at Dunsfold where we were the first to try PlanesTV’s new 3D mini-cams in glorious sunshine and lighter winds. The tiny GoPro HD minicams have transformed POV camera opportunities and the new 3D kit was fixed to the MDM-1 Fox’s canopy for the display. You can see some of the (2D) footage in the promo video below.
Thanks must go to Dave Poile for the invite to Little Gransden and FDD Mike Wood for keeping the show running through the showers. At Dunsfold, thanks must go to everybody who helped including Gerry Forristal, Barry Sargeant, Ian Sheeley and FDD Dave Walton. Also to Iain Campbell of PlanesTV for the chance to trial his new 3D camera kit.